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Software imaging

By jean_baptiste_p ·
I work as a desktop support technician and I am constantly building desktops and installing software on them. Is there a way that I can create an image and copy that image on other desktops and servers that I setup?

Your answer on this will be ofgreat help.

Thank you in advance.

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Software imaging

by garetjax In reply to Software imaging

Jean,

Products like Norton GHOST do exactly what you describe. The only gotcha tends to occur in environments that don't have standardized HW combined with NT4. The lack of plug-and-play can cause issues.

Try getting a eval of GHOST or DriveImage to see if it will work for you.

Good luck.

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by jean_baptiste_p In reply to Software imaging

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by JerryM MCSE+I / A+ In reply to Software imaging

Hi,
While programs like Ghost, Drive Image, and others like this are good programs. I don't suggest you use them with any version of windows nt/2000. For security reasons when windows NT/2000 are installed each system gets assigned a unique sytem id that is hard coded. The way to mass produce sytems, especially NT/2000 is to use the OEM install directions (they come in oem 5 pack software), you can probably also get the info from the knowledgebase at microsoft. basically you create an unattended install file, a unique defination file (UDF) that would list system names...etc and use sysdif utility to prep the system, this is a VERY basic overview, but what you end up with is something that installs very quickly, creates a unique ssid whenyou actually install to the target machine, and pre-configures the settings you need for your network..etc..this applies to different computer types laptop/desktop, just create specific files for each different type and you are all set... these tools exist for all versions of MS products....
Thank you for the post..jer

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by jean_baptiste_p In reply to Software imaging

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by erikdr In reply to Software imaging

Well both answers DO have their validity.
1. Yep, imaging is quick but its limitation is not only HW but also the SID's. Fortunately there are ways around that. For NT and W2K it's Microsoft SysPrep, and for NT also the SID changers of Ghost et.al.can do the job.
2. Automated install of Windows is nice, but automated install of apps can be more painful if you don't have software distribution in place. E.g. for some there is no responsefile mechanism and snapshotting (SysDiff) is the only way. For both jobs, Windows 2000 RIS and RIP can be nice tools (but unfortunately not for NT Workstation...)

Both solutions are, with the limitations given, nice for basic machine rollout. However maintenance AFTERWARDS, e.g. adding another application, is the challenge. For this I'd recommend a distrib tool. Like Veritas WinInstall, Novell ZENWorks and Microsoft SMS. ZEN and SMS are much 'broader' (also have remote control, license control, inventory etc.) but at a price of course. And ZEN also offers the initial rollout of Windows (responsefile), even with Ghost-like multicasting.

Hope this helps,

<Erik> - The Netherlands

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by Campbell In reply to Software imaging

If the desktop systems are all the same for hardware and use 98, you can build one, load all the programs, then make a ghost image of the first machine then use it for all the other systems. The only thing you need to be aware of is to change the computer name before logging onto the network. I use it all the time and it works great.

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